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2004 Paint / Clearcoat Fading

902 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Choo Choo Charley
(I have this posted in the Detailing forum also, but I want as much exposure as possible)

Howdy All. I have a 2004 Offroad Gray Touareg whose hood and roof areas specifically are showing either clear coat or paint fading. Not sure exactly which. I am looking for suggestions on renewing these areas before I consider a fresh repaint (approx. $1100). We had a parking lot fender bender (dent and run) a few months back and the shop that repaired the major dent did a great job of matching paint to the rest of the car. I also asked about the hood and roof and their paint and detailing folks said they couldn't do anything in the way of 'buffing' it to look good. A repaint is needed.

So I need other opinions and help. Here are the details: The car lives outside, no garage. I am derelict in that I have not waxed it in a few years. I live in NM which means hot summers (there are trees for some shade) and cold (snow sometimes) winters.

I have gone to and looked around but honestly, there are so many different products out there proclaiming to do the same thing, it's really confusing as to which item is best and will work. Also which is the better way -- repaint, have someone professionally detail the car, or I pick up something recommended here on Club Touareg and do the job myself, which I'm fine doing.

Looking for suggestions and comments on products that might actually work.

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All I can say is welcome to the American Southwest. And when you do repaint give the paint shop extra $ for the highest quality clearcoat. A friend just had his Corvette done in Las Cruces and paid $400 a gallon for clear.
The clear coat will have to be sanded off. Some say you can just redo the clear coat if you don't scuff up the colour coat too much but I like to freshen up the colour coat a bit.
It's tricky with metallics though as you don't usually colour sand the colour coat because of the metal flake, you can but it can look weird.

And it takes a good hand with the spray gun to get the 'flip' of the metal flakes right so the new paint matches the existing paint.
The new paint can be exactly the same colour as the old paint but look different if it's applied differently.

If you're going to be neglectful of your paint and leave it out in the weather you should give it a polymer polish, it lasts longer and some brands say they have UV protection.
Don't use silicone.
Even a simple hand polish can do wonders. I just did my anthracite grey Touareg a few weeks ago, and there's simply no comparison between the before and after look. The car is more shiny, the paint looks more deep and you can see the metallic reflecting particles in it again. You'll also need to wax the car afterwards to conserve the results for several months.

For hand polish I recommend the Sonax P-Ball and some good quality polish fluid (like that from Sonax, Meguiar or Turtle wax). For waxing the average Turtle Wax will do, but I recommend using the paste, because it's easier to apply and more economic than the fluid ones. Just make sure you also buy some tape, and mask off rubber and plastic parts prior to polish and waxing, because depending on the products you use, they might leave a really ugly and uneven stain on these unpainted parts.

Of course polish and wax will do almost nothing to serious scratches or paint damage on your car, but it will give it a new shine, and will definitely take care of the fading effect.

Also, this will cost you less than $50 total, and if you're unsatisfied with the results, you can still consider hiring a professional to polish the car for you, or even do a full repaint (which I do not recommend, unless you have really bad scratches and dents, and/or whole parts where the paint is missing or damaged). But even then you can use these products to maintain the perfect look afterwards.
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Alternatively, if the lacquer isn't peeling, what about getting the car wrapped?
Even a simple hand polish can do wonders ... For hand polish I recommend the Sonax P-Ball and some good quality polish fluid (like that from Sonax, Meguiar or Turtle wax)..
With so many products on the market I've been searching for information about good products. I'll look into the Meguiar and Sonax stuff. I just saw an Autogeek show and they showcased the Sonax so it's probably pretty good.

I thought a wrap would be fun too but my wife likes the color of the car so we'll keep it looking original for the time being. Thanks.
No way in h*ll a wrap would last in the desert SW!!!!!
Actually I used to work for a graphics company and we regularly wrapped cars, vans, motorhomes and such. The media we used to print on was made by 3M and had great adhesive backing for longevity and adhering to the vehicle. The color-fastness was a product of the type of printer and inks. They were usually good for 2-3 years without fading, then some might show in years 4-5. Pretty good stuff out there these days.
My wife gives me grief for taking all that time on a cool Summer day to clay bar and wax our vehicles. I tried to explain the benefits of cleaning the clear coat and then waxing. Then she asks me why do cars have faded paint and I told her because few people want to go through the trouble to wax their cars a couple of times a year. I am not criticizing the OP I do not know if he or she bought the car new or used, sometimes the paint fading is because the previous owner did not maintain the finish. I really do like how a clay bar just gently lifts all that grit right out the paint and removes oxidation.
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